Earlobe Reduction with Minimally Visible Scars: The Sub-Antitragal Groove Technique

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Ptosis of the earlobe is a common consequence of ageing, defined as an unappealingly large free caudal segment of over 5 mm. It is therefore important to consider reduction as a complement to rhytidectomy in selected patients. Moreover, facelifting operations can result in disproportionate or poorly positioned earlobes. Current earlobe-reducing techniques can leave a scar on the free lateral edge causing notching or involve complex pattern excisions with limited resection capability and the risk of deformities. The presented technique, on the other hand, is versatile and easy to use, as it follows general geometric principles.


Excision of the designed area results in an earlobe flap which can be rotated in the excision defect. This results in ideal scar locations, situated at the sub-antitragal groove and at the cheek junction. The technique is adjustable, to incorporate potential piercing holes.


This technique takes approximately 15 minutes per earlobe to complete. The resulting earlobes have undisturbed free borders. No vascularization-related flap problems were noted.


This technique is a viable method for reducing the earlobe with minimally visible scars.

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Correspondence to Lennert Van Putte.

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Video 1: Sub-Antitragal Groove Technique for Earlobe Reduction (MP4 76156 kb)

Video 1: Sub-Antitragal Groove Technique for Earlobe Reduction (MP4 76156 kb)

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Van Putte, L., Colpaert, S.D.M. Earlobe Reduction with Minimally Visible Scars: The Sub-Antitragal Groove Technique. Aesth Plast Surg 41, 335–338 (2017) doi:10.1007/s00266-017-0799-x

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  • Earlobe
  • Ear deformities
  • Acquired
  • Age effect
  • Rejuvenation
  • Rhytidectomy